THE HUM OF ANGELS

Saturday, February 25, 2017


THE HUM OF ANGELS
Listening for the Messengers
of God Around Us
By Scot McKnight

OVERVIEW: The majority of earth's inhabitants believe in angels. Yet many of us cannot claim to have seen one. Why? Perhaps it's because in order to encounter one, we first have to learn what to look for and how to look! We live in a world where the natural and supernatural overlap. Angels are constantly on mission from God and constantly at work in this world. From the Garden of Eden to the book of Revelation, Scripture is filled with hundreds of references to these wondrous creatures. In this creative work, Scot McKnight explores what the Bible says—and doesn't say—about these majestic beings. (From the back of the book).

AUTHOR: Scott McKnight is the author of more than fifty books, including The Jesus Creed and The Heaven Promise. A popular speaker at events such as Catalyst and Q Conference. Scot is professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. His blog Jesus Creed, has 3 million page views annually. He and his wife, Kris, live in the Chicago suburbs.

MY REVIEW: If you, like me, have thought about angels for a long time—this is a book you will want to read. I have several books about angels and this is one of the best. I found it easier to understand than some of the others I have read. Recently I read Jack Graham's book about angels and it is excellent also. Scot McKnight is a splendid theologian but he doesn't get bogged down in deep, hard to understand religious thoughts. He writes in a way that is easier for the average person to understand.

Scot McKnight makes the claim, "If you believe in God, you also believe in angels." That's good. That's very good. He goes on to say, "This is not a philosophical book about angels, or is it an attempt to prove the reality of angels. I'm thankful the philosophers and apologists have set forth persuasive arguments in favor of angels and so have cleared the way for me to talk about what the Bible says about angels." And that is what he does. He talks about what the Bible says about angels. And that is the main thing I like about this book.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

THE i FACTOR

Saturday, January 21, 2017


THE i FACTOR
How Building A Great Relationship
With Yourself Is The Key To A 
Happy, Successful Life
By Van Moody

OVERVIEW: Weaving together personal stories, practical principles, and profound biblical truth, The i-Factor provides the key to achieving the life of greatness that you are destined for.

AUTHOR: VAN MOODY serves as pastor of the Worship Center in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, he is on the board of Joel Osteen's Champions Network, is a member of Dr. Oz's Core Team, and is an associate trainer in Japan for Dr. John Maxell's EQUIP leadership organization. Moody, his wife, Ty, and their children live in Birmingham, Alabama.

MY REVIEW: The i-Factor is one of the best books I have read in a long time and I read and review many books. Van Moody writes in an interesting, inspiring way but I think the thing I liked most about the book is that it is packed full of wonderful stories. I would read one and think, "Wow." And then almost immediately I was reading another great uplifting story.

Dr. Levy H. Knox said, "A magnificent book! Apply its timely principles for personal and spiritual success. Your life will change." I agree. It is a magnificent book. I don't know if your life will change. But I think it should. Dr. Nicole LaBeach wrote, "A gift that needs no ribbon, just a reader who's ready to make the shift of a lifetime!"

This book is a guide for understanding yourself and Moody points out over and over again that we must understand ourselves if we are going to live our best life. It is a practical tool for helping us to live life the way God intended.

(I received this book from BookLookBloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


PEOPLE OF THE SECOND CHANCE


PEOPLE OF THE SECOND CHANCE
A Guide to Bringing Life-Saving Love to the World
By Mike Foster

OVERVIEW: This book will show you how your imperfect life matters in ways you never thought possible. It will help you see your scars, flaws, and failures as unfair advantages and gifts that you can bring to the world. It is packed full of unfiltered honesty and simple next steps, this book will help you discover beauty in the brokenness.

AUTHOR: MIKE FOSTER is the chief chance officer at People of the Second Chance. He has dedicated his life to helping people relaunch their lives with a sense of hope and purpose. He's been featured on Good Morning America, The 700 club and in the New York Times.

MY REVIEW: I agree with Jud Wilhite, senior pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. He said, "Five Stars! This is fierce and compassionate truth telling at its finest. People of the Second Chance is an incredible road map for fully experiencing the grace of God in a whole new way." If he is right, and I think he is. then many need to run out and buy this book because we need to experience the grace of God in a whole new way.

Mike Foster has a passion for helping us live as God's beloved. His book is a message of grace that needs to be read by all. I love the way Bob Goff describes this book: "This is a book for messed-up overcomers, for religious rebels, for the broken but resilient. It's not about taking a knee in the end zone when you win; it's about taking both when you don't."

The book is filled with true stories and great illustrations. It's a page-turner. You will find it hard to put down. Mike will help you realize you are sincerely loved by God and that your life has real meaning.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

THE GREAT SPIRITUAL MIGRATION

Monday, December 19, 2016


THE GREAT SPIRITUAL MIGRATION
How The World's Largest Religion Is 
Seeking A Better Way To Be Christian
By Brian D. McLaren

OVERVIEW: Drawing from his work as a global activist, pastor, and public theologian, McLaren challenges readers to stop worrying, waiting, and indulging in nostalgia, and instead, to embrace the powerful new understandings that are reshaping the faith. In The Great Spiritual Migration, he explores three profound shifts that define the change: Spiritually, theologically and missionally.

AUTHOR: Brian McLaren is a Christian thinker, author, and activist. A former pastor with a background in literature, McLaren is the author of more than a dozen books, an Auburn Senior Fellow, and a board chair of Convergence.

MY REVIEW: Brian McLaren is a brilliant writer. He has written more than a dozen books and I have a few of them. I read them because I want to know what he and those who think like him, believe. I have found that I disagree with much of what he thinks and writes about. And yet he says a lot of good stuff that isn't being said by anybody else. However, it isn't my job as a reviewer to write about my theology and how it differs with his.

I want to tell you what a few others think of this book, McLaren and his writing. Author, Diana Butler Bass said, "This is Brian McLaren's finest book; a beautiful exploration of a hopeful, joyful, mystical, and just faith that invites Christians to move from fear to love." Author, Richard Rohr wrote, "Anything written by Brian McLaren is always filled with insight, courage, and creative theology, refining the meaning of orthodoxy in our time." And author, Peter Enns said, "McLaren continues to have his finger on the pulse of a new kind of Christianity that challenges familiar and limiting structures of faith. A prophetic and winsome invitation for all to join the work of the Spirit in spiritual, theological, and missional transformation."

Now, what I think is that this is a book for you if you are a curious intellectual that wants to keep up with all the changes that are taking place in the religious world. This book will challenge you. Parts of it will upset you and make you angry. I liked some of it but I disagreed with much of it. McLaren thinks he has his finger on the pulse of a new kind of Christianity. If you think he does or want to investigate that kind of thinking—this is the book for you.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

THE JOY MODEL— A Step-By-Step Guide To Peace, Purpose, and Balance

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

THE JOY MODEL
 A Step-By-Step Guide
To Peace, Purpose, and Balance
By Jeff Spadafora

OVERVIEW: In The Joy Model, Jeff Spadafora shares, step-by-step, the path he took (and had coached hundreds on) from smoldering discontent to a sense of joy and purpose in everyday life. From creating margin in our schedules that allows us to breathe easier and think more clearly, to discovering our true selves and going deeper into our relationships with God and other people. Spadafora shows how the interaction between our being and our doing provides the key to opening up a life full of joy, purpose, and fulfillment.

AUTHOR: Jeff Spadafora is the director of Global Coaching Services and Product Development for the Halftime Institute (www.halftime.org), where he trains and manages the global Halftime Coaching staff. Earlier, Spadafora was a management consultant for twenty years with a focus on executive education and development for Fortune 500 companies. He lives with his family in Evergreen, Colorado.

MY REVIEW: Most of us think about joy a lot. Especially at this time of year. We even sing about it, "Joy to the world, the Lord has come...". Thinking and singing about joy doesn't necessarily mean we are experiencing joy. At least, not in the way Spadafora talks about it."Drawing on his years as both a successful businessman and a Christian life coach, Spadafora has developed a concrete, practical model to show the path from joyless to joyful. Using his Joy Model and the steps in his M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan, he clearly describes how to move from frustration and weary service to an over-arching, all-pervading joy of life in Christ.

I was especially pleased that Spadafora makes it clear that this joy he talks about is found in Christ.
However, knowing that doesn't mean that we automatically experience joy. There is much smoldering discontent and frustration in life and we all need help finding out way out of it. I promise you, these eleven chapters will provide a step-by-step guide to peace, purpose and balance. I agree with author Bob Buford, "The Joy Model maps the full route, providing a fully integrated pathway to deep and lasting joy and to greater peace and freedom, regardless of your age, gender, or income."

( I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

FIND YOUR MIRACLE

Friday, November 18, 2016

FIND YOUR MIRACLE
How The Miracles Of Jesus
Can Change Your Life Today
By Kerry & Chris Shook

OVERVIEW: In Find Your Miracle, New York Times best-selling authors Kerry and Chris Shook take a fresh look at nine of Jesus's most incredible times of healing and supernatural intervention. The Shooks unpack these moments in modern language to usher you into the pain, desperation, breakthrough, and miracle of each encounter. Plus they reveal a "miracle map" that connects that moment long ago to our needs today for revelation, transformation, and restoration.

AUTHORS: kerry Shook and his wife, Chris Shook are New York Times best-selling authors of One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life and Be the Message. They founded Woodlands Church in 1993, and it has since grown to be one of the largest churches in America. Kerry and Chris have been featured on NBC, ABC, PBS, Fox News, Life Today, and USA Today; and they have a television show that goes to more than 200 countries. The recent establishment of Woodlands Seminary came out of their desire to train the next generation to make a local and global impact. Kerry and Chris live in Woodlands, Texas.

MY REVIEW: What pastor, Mark Batterson said about this book is the main thing I like about it. He said, "As Chris and Kerry unpack the miracles of Jesus, they show us that miracles are not the focus. They are just the road signs pointing to God—to a real and personal relationship with Him." That's it! That's what this book is about. I also agree with pastor, Jack Graham who said, "Let's face it. At times we all need a miracle. Whether you are overwhelmed, feeling alone, or afraid, God is able to meet your needs. Every single one of them."

This is a good book giving an exploration of nine miracles of Jesus weaving the biblical narrative with contemporary real-life application, The sub-title is How The Miracles Of Jesus Can Change Your Life Today. I believe in miracles. I hope you do. This book will help you see HOW Jesus can change your life. I encourage you to read this book,apply the principles and watch God work in your life as maybe never before.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

ANGELS

Thursday, November 10, 2016


ANGELS
Who They Are, What They Do,
and Why It Matters
By Jack Graham

OVERVIEW: Pastor Jack Graham walks you through Scripture, revealing the truth about angels and what they offer us: encouragement, counsel, confirmation of God's will, strength, protection, wisdom, companionship, and more. Focusing on practical application, Dr Graham separates fact from fiction and demonstrates that the main role of angels isn't to draw attention to themselves, but to point us toward Christ.

AUTHOR: Dr. Jack Graham is the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the nation's largest, most dynamic congregations. He can be seen and heard across the country and throughout the world via PowerPoint Ministries, broadcast weekly on TBN, Daystar TV, and hundreds of radio stations around the country. Dr. Graham has a master of divinity degree with honors and a doctor of ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Deb, live in Frisco, Texas and have three grown children. Learn more at www.jackgraham.org.

MY REVIEW: In this book Dr. Graham chapter by chapter lays out fifteen key aspects of Christ's sufficiency made manifest by angelic dealings in the biblical account. I agree with Dave Stone, pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, "Jack Graham has done it again. His treatment of the topic of angels will move you from confusion to curiosity and on to clarity."

Graham uses stories to teach you a great deal about angels. After reading this book you will be on the lookout for angels. These stories told from a biblical worldview will help you experience a great connection to the unseen world. What attracted me to this book was the sub-title, Who They Are, What They Do, And Why It Matters. He doesn't disappoint. Believe me. After reading this book you will know much more about angels.

ANGELS is divided into four parts of equal value. My favorite or most needed is Part Two: The Protection of Angels as You Sustain Life's Blows. The chapters are: COMFORT When You Are Afraid, COURAGE When You Are in Danger, ADVOCACY When You're Excluded or Despised, SHELTER In the Midst of the Storm.

I like the words of author Christine Caine "This book is classic Jack Graham—great biblical teaching, wonderful stories, and terrific applications for readers."

(I received this books from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

ME TOO—Experience The God Who Understands

Thursday, October 20, 2016


ME TOO
Experience The God Who Understands
By Jon Weece

OVERVIEW: According to pastor Jon Weece, Christianity does not require you to smile through your pain, much less ask you to praise God for tormenting you. The truth is, God doesn't enjoy your suffering, but he does understand it—and he knows exactly how to fix it. That's what ME TOO is all about: A God who turned the ugliness of the cross into a spectacle of eternal beauty. An all-powerful Lord who will do the same with the pain of this world. An eternal Father who specializes in wiping away tears and putting you back together again. If you'll allow him.

AUTHOR: JON WEECE is the lead pastor at Southland Christian Church, a community of 14,000 Christ-followers in Lexington, Kentucky. He is the author of Jesus Prom. Prior to joining Southland, Jon was a missionary in Haiti for four years, where he met his wife, Alli. They have two children.

MY REVIEW: It's my opinion that we all need a great reminder of how wonderful God's love is for us. Jon Weece's splendid book provides that reminder. In twenty, brief, easy to read chapters Jon shows us over and over again the Father's love. He divides the book into three parts. Part 1 is The Cross—What Jesus Did. Part 2 Talks about The Church—What Jesus Is Doing. And part 3 explains The City—What Jesus Will Do.

I agree with what bestselling author, Kyle Idleman said about Jon Weece and his book, "He will help you see that you are not alone. God is with you, he understands what you are going through, and it's safe to be vulnerable and ask for his help."

We are not alone. We are all "Me too" people. "The cross is God's "me too" statement to a world saturated with suffering. And the church was designed to be a "me too" community where people could suffer together."

Get this book. You will be blessed. Read it. Share it with others. They will be blessed too.

(I received this book from BookLookBloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

TOO MUCH POWER

Friday, October 14, 2016



I'm a simple man. So my thoughts are simple.

Our central government has too much power.

"America's founders had it right---that strict limits on the power of the central government and strict protection of the individual are the keys to a genuinely free society."


The President of the United States, The Attorney General, The FBI and the list goes on are government people who no longer uphold the law but hold themselves ABOVE the law.

I have lost respect for our government because of the waste and corruption.

OUR GOVERNMENT IS TOO BIG.

If I was the only one who thought that I would just try to forget it.

But what amazes me is that almost everybody I know or hear talk about it feel the same as I do.

Here's the scary part.

The majority doesn't want to do anything to change it. And if a change is not made the government will just continue to grow larger and more corrupt.

'MY GOVERNMENT" would be "reduced to the barest essentials; an executive branch consisting only of the White House and trimmed-down departments of state, defense, justice and environmental protection; a Congress so limited in power that it meets only a few months each year; and a federal code stripped of all but a handful of regulations."

Maybe I'm dreaming the impossible dream and maybe my dream is so big that without God it is impossible. Ok. I'm counting on God. He's made other dreams of mine come true why not this.

I talk to Him about this and have for several years. I'm going to keep chasing this dream until God tells me to stop.

DREAMING AND PRAYING UNTIL THE END.

THE FRONT PAGE OF THE PAPER IS A LIE

Thursday, October 13, 2016



Truth. I like the sound of the word. My mother taught me what it meant. I grew up with it.

Naive. I didn't know this word growing up. But I know now it is a word that describes me when I was young. Ignorant, immature, trusting. I like trusting best.

I trusted and respected all adults. Mothers, fathers, teachers, preachers, policemen (I didn't know any police women), crossing guards. I din't know any politicians but I would have trusted them.

One day the lamp flickered. I don't know when it was I only know it happened. Not suddenly. Not all at once. Slowly but surely the lamp went out and the flood lights came on.

I could see more clearly now.

But it wasn't a day for rejoicing. The joy of trust was gone. The spring time days of trust were gone.
Discernment was needed. I didn't know who to trust. I wasn't sure I could trust myself.

The newspaper was one of my favorite things that I carried from youth into adulthood. The newspaper is where I found all kinds of truth. Truth from A to Z.

It's been months since I heard the old, familiar thump of a paper plotting on the driveway in front of the house. CANCEL! STOP DELIVERY!

SAD. I almost get teary eyed thinking about it. And then I get mad.

What you read on the front page of the paper is a lie. The stories told there are not my stories. Not your stories.

The front page of the paper doesn't tell about all the husbands that kissed their wives good-bye in the morning before leaving for work and then remained faithful all day.

The front page of the paper doesn't tell about all the young people who went to school this morning, went to work in the afternoon or just went about doing what was right and good.

Read the paper with discernment. Some news is good. Some is bad. Some people are good. Some are bad.

I pray for the day when your son or daughter can pick up the paper and read it knowing that what he/she reads is as close to the truth as it can possibly be---and that it is fair to all concerned.

I pray they want to be part of that truth. I pray they grow up wanting to do the right thing.

Maybe, just maybe they will become an honest reporter.


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CHASE THE LION



CHASE THE LION
If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You,
It's Too Small
By Mark Batterson

OVERVIEW: Chase The Lion is more than a catch phrase; it's a radically different approach to life. It's only when we stop fearing failure that we can fully seize opportunity by the mane. With grit and gusto, New York Times best-selling author Mark Batterson delivers a bold message to everyone with a big dream.

AUTHOR: MARK BATTERSON is the New York times best-selling author of a dozen books, including The Circle Maker, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, and Wild Goose Chase. he is the lead pastor of National Community Church (NCC), one of the most innovative and influential churches in America. One church with eight campuses, NCC also owns and operates Ebenezer's Coffeehouse, the Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University. He and his wife, Lora, and their children love living on Capitol Hill.

MY REVIEW: Mark Batterson writes, "This is a wake-up call to stop living as if the purpose of life was to simply arrive safely at death. Our dreams should scare us. They should be so big that without God they would be impossible to achieve. Quit running away from what you're afraid of."

Wow! What a challenge. What a book. Yes. I like this book. I like it a lot! This is a book every young person should read. I wish I could have read a book like this when I was young. But it is not just for young people. Like Batterson said, this is a wake-up call. It's a wake-up call for all of us. His statement, that our dreams should be so big that without God they would be impossible, just blows me away. Rarely, if ever have my dreams been that big. At least I didn't know it at the time. Now that I am older I can look back and see that many of my dreams would not have come true without God.

This book is based upon 2 Samuel 23 and tells the true story of an ancient warrior named Benaiah who chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day—and then killed it. You should read his story in the Bible and then read this book. Chase The Lion is "written in a way that both challenges and encourages. This revolutionary book will help unleash the faith and courage you need to identify, chase, and catch the five-hundred-pound dreams in your life."

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

OUTLAW CHRISTIAN

Friday, August 26, 2016

OUTLAW CHRISTIAN
Finding Authentic Faith
by Breaking The Rules
By Jacqueline A. Bussie

OVERVIEW: Drawing from Scripture and real-life experience, Outlaw Christian is Bussie's rallying cry to believers who care too much to let suffering go unquestioned and doubts unanswered. She calls for a faith that laments, loves, laughs, longs, and lives, but never dies.

AUTHOR: Jacqueline A. Bussie is director of the Forum on Faith and Life and professor of religion at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. A graduate of Davidson College and Yale University. She holds a PhD in Theology, Ethics, and Culture from the University of Virginia.

MY REVIEW: Because I review so many excellent books in a year, I can't say this is the best book I have read so far this year. But I can say, without hesitation that this is ONE of the best books I have read this year. It is outstanding in so many ways. This is a life changing book.

Bussie's writing is clear, honest and written in a way that keeps you turning the pages. You really do not know what she is going to say next. This is a challenging book because it takes the average reader to places he/she has never been before. I spent forty-seven years in the Christian ministry and yet Bussie introduced me to thoughts on suffering that I had never even thought of before.

I like what author, Shane Claiborne said, "There's nothing fluffy about this book. It is raw, sassy, and from the heart. Bussie reminds us that God is not scared of our doubters, fears, and darkness—God even experienced them in Jesus. This is a fresh invitation to the faith for skeptics, doubters, seekers, and even folks who like that old-time-religion."

However, as much as I like this book, I can not recommend it to all of my friends. I have a few who will just not be able to handle it. They already have a ready answer for every suffering person and they don't want to be challenged. But I am happy to know there is a multitude of sufferers, questioners, and thinkers who will be blessed by this splendid book.

(I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

THE BRIDE(ZILLA) OF CHRIST

Friday, August 19, 2016


THE BRIDE(ZILLA) OF CHRIST
What To Do When God's People
Hurt God's People
By Ted Kluck & Ronnie Martin

OVERVIEW: The Bride(Zilla) of Christ is a verbal IV dripping with the mercy found only in Christ. Though you've been wronged, or perhaps you've wronged another, there is cause for great hope. The hurt is not the deepest thing. Grace is deeper still.

AUTHORS: Ted Kluck has authored or coauthored over a dozen books, including the bestselling Whey We're Not Emergent. Kluck's work has appeared in ESPN the Magazine, Sports Spectrum Magazine, and at ESPN.com. He is an assistant professor at Union University and lives in Jackson, Tennessee, with his wife and sons. Ronnie Martin is an internationally known Dove Award-nominated recording artist with more than twenty album credits spanning three decades. He is lead pastor of Substance Church in Ashland, Ohio, where he lives with his wife and daughter.

MY REVIEW: Funny, serious, revealing—scary. This book is all of that and more. Most of all, it is a much needed book. It will be helpful to many. I am glad to have it now because I can share it with other Christians, especially young ministers. I personally had a great need for it about thirty-five years ago.

You may be a little puzzled about the sub-title: What To Do When God's People Hurt God's People. Hopefully you have never experienced this kind of hurting in your own life. Therefore you might think it strange that Christians would be involved in hurting one another. IT HAPPENS! I'm sorry it happens. And it's a shame it happens. But it does.

"What do you do with that reality, a reality that sometimes hurts?" Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin aren't interested in 140 characters of tweetable comfort. They'd rather share their own stories of being both the wounded and the wounder. Plus they offer practical, yes-you-can-do-this steps to moving forward in those times when the Church hurts.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)